BOISE, Idaho While Boise State University was shutout of the NFL Draft for the first time since 2005, five Bronco players have reached free-agent agreements with NFL teams according to information provided to www.broncossports.com by the Idaho Statesman.
Running back Ian Johnson and wide receiver Vinny Perretta each agreed to free-agent contracts with the Minnesota Vikings. Wide receiver Jeremy Childs did the same with the San Diego Chargers, as did wide receiver Julian Hawkins with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday (April 26). Tight end Chris O'Neill agreed to a free-agent contract with the Oakland Raiders on Monday (April 27).
The last time Boise State did not have a player drafted in the NFL was 2005. In the last three years, seven Bronco players have been selected including offensive tackle Ryan Clady in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Denver Broncos. Clady is the only player in Boise State history to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Two of those draft picks went in the second round with defensive back Gerald Alexander selected by the Detroit Lions in 2007 and offensive lineman Daryn Colledge by the Green Bay Packers in 2006.
Johnson completed his Bronco career rushing for 4,183 yards and a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) career record 58 rushing touchdowns.
Perretta caught 74 passes in his Boise State career for 991 yards and four touchdowns. He also gained 482 yards rushing and scored five touchdowns.
Childs caught 168 passes for 1,999 yards and 17 touchdowns during his three-year career with the Broncos. Childs would have been a senior on the 2009 Boise State team, but declared for this year’s NFL Draft following the 2008 season.
Hawkins, who also spent time playing tight end during his Bronco career, caught 50 passes for 572 yards and three touchdowns for Boise State.
O’Neill was enjoying an outstanding senior season with Boise State as the team’s starting tight end when a broken foot midway through the 2008 year ended his regular season. He finished his career with 21 receptions for 254 yards and three touchdowns.
In related football draft news, two former Bronco players are heading to the Canadian Football League. Last week (April 17) it was announced that offensive lineman Andrew Woodruff had signed a three-year contract with the Montreal Allouettes, on Monday (April 27) quarterback Jared Zabransky signed a free-agent contract with the Edmonton Eskimos. Woodruff was the 12th overall pick of the 2008 CFL draft, while Zabransky had been on the rosters of the Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers the past two years before being released by both teams.